Now There is a Website That Tracks How Trump is Spending Your Money
Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has created “a way to express in clear numbers how governments in the U.S. spend their citizens’ money”, a sort of 10-K for the government.
Ballmer teamed up with Apple to create USAFacts in order to give the American people a way to see and understand how the government is spending their money.
The website “tallies revenues and expenditures from all levels of government” via a specially created analytic program.
According to the website, the process data collected from the government in order to:
• Establish justice and ensure domestic tranquility
• Provide for the common defense
• Promote general welfare
• Secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and posterity
Over 3 years, Ballmer spent $10 million and collaborated with the University of Pennsylvania to gather government data concerning its use of tax payer money. In the end, USAFacts was created to “not only on helping people understand where federal, state and local governments spend their money — but on the accessibility and understanding of data in an era of ‘alternative facts’.”
In an interview with the Washington Post , Ballmer explained that USAFacts is about being “a tool that gives people common data without a lot of adjectives. I just think it’s really good for our citizens to be well educated in what their government does.”
With the current administration trying to hide what they are doing, Ballmer’s project aims to shed some light on “what the government collect and what it spends, and what it achieves.”
Understanding that “government is about delivering outcomes to citizens and oh, by the way, we have to raise revenue and spend money to get there” will not only help Americans come to terms with the financial burden of keeping this country running.
The issue of government spending has become a trigger point for the majority of Americans who see hypocrisy in a president who will not release his tax returns, and yet is currently working on a tax reform proposal.
Richard Painter, professor of corporate law at Harvard University and former “associate counsel to the president in the White House Counsel’s office” under the Obama administration, recently explained that concept in an op-ed piece published in UA Today.
Painter wrote: “At a minimum, before this administration even thinks of proposing any changes to the tax code, we should see what tax code provisions the president himself has been and is taking advantage of, and how much tax he has paid in the past few years. Otherwise, we are bound to end up with a deal where the rest of us pay yet more tax while he, and probably his business partners and political allies, pay less.”
He added: “The “art of the deal” for him, perhaps, but for the rest of us it’s the art of the steal.”
Senator Chuck Schumer issued a statement , calling for Donald Trump to release “his full tax returns” and if he chooses not to Schumer warned: “A cloud of suspicion will remain and make it much more difficult to get tax reform legislation through the Congress.”
Over the Easter weekend, tens of thousands of Americans marched in 48 states at 180 events; waving signs and chanting while marching through the streets demanding that Trump released his tax returns so that the American public can examine his business ties.
Trump claims that only pundits in the media are interested in seeing his tax returns, but according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll taken earlier this year, 74% of Americans think Trump should release his tax returns.
Journalist Jennifer Rubin put it this way: “Voters didn’t put him there to act as an autocrat, responsible to no one.”
The problem as Rubin sees it is that “Trump is more secretive, more indifferent to corruption than his predecessors — and Republicans are too meek and unprincipled to object.”
Long before Trump was the front-runner for the Republican Party during our last election, he promised to release his tax returns “if I decide to run”.
In 2012 on Fox News, Trump professed that showing of his tax returns would be a “great thing” because then he could prove that he has “made a lot of money” and has been “successful”.
Fast forward to 2014 and while speaking about the possibility of running for office, Trump said: “I’ll produce my tax returns , absolutely. And I would love to do that.”
But all that changed during the 2016 campaign. Trump said he was “working on” getting those returns published but it was just too difficult because his taxes are “not like a normal tax return”.